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Seattle-area home market was nation's hottest for 2017 — and cheaper areas from Bellingham to Spokane weren't far behind

Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times on

Published in Home and Consumer News

Seattle finished 2017 as the hottest housing market in the country for the entire year, and isn't showing any signs of slowing down. And even cheaper towns in Washington, from Wenatchee to Bellingham to Spokane, aren't far behind on the list of regions with the fastest-rising home prices.

Single-family-home prices for the metro area that spans from Tacoma to Everett grew 12.7 percent in December from the previous year, according to the monthly Case-Shiller home price index, released Tuesday.

It was the 16th month in a row that Seattle led the nation in home-price increases. That extends a local record and is the longest streak in the nation since the dot-com bubble in San Francisco around the turn of the century.

For homebuyers, the only shred of relief is that at least the market is not getting any hotter -- the increase locally was the same it's been for the last few months. The rest of the country, on the other hand, is heating up.

Las Vegas was second, with prices rising 11.1 percent in a year, and San Francisco was next at 9.2 percent, both up from the last several months.

Nationally, prices are up 6.3 percent, the most in three and a half years and almost five times more than the country's historical average.

Compared to a month prior, home values locally ticked up 0.6 percent, three times more than the national average, and a big gain for this time of year.

But the local home-shopping market, which historically had quieted down in the winter, is increasingly becoming a year-round battleground for buyers.

The median house price in Seattle just hit a record $757,000, and on the Eastside is hovering at an all-time high of $938,000, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Prices here are rising fairly evenly across all types of homes, from starter homes to luxury estates, in contrast to the rest of the nation, where the cheapest homes are gaining value the fastest.


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